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Hone Your Craft

Ayeisha Mesinger Brings the Fiesta to Denver

Hone Your Craft BY monica derevjanik 03/29/2012

Let’s get it started.

After returning to CO from her vacation in Mexico, all Ayeisha Mesigner of the amazingly sleek accessories biz Morgan Parish wanted to do was go back. Since that wasn’t exactly viable, she hosted a “We Miss Mexico” themed dinner party at her pad in Denver. “I love color and liked the idea of having a simple, fun, and bright party,” she explains. Here is how she got everything ready in just three hours—which means you have no excuse not to fake a border crossing this weekend. 

92 morgan parish
"Its such a beatiful and calming haven and I am addicted to their waterlemon juice at breakfast. They also have Marmite, which I have a weakness for."
of Morgan Parish


Time: 30 minutes
“I bought a set of colorful doilies in Mexico, and now I can only find one of them. So I recreated my own with some plain white cotton doilies that I bought at a craft store and soaked in brightly colored dyes.”


Pompom Napkins
Time: 15 minutes
“You can buy this trim at any fabric store—it doesn’t have to be perfect, just fun! I had some scrap fabric lying around at home, so I just stitched the pompoms around the edges.”


Cutting Board
Time: “Literally, two seconds”
“I bought an inexpensive cutting board and sprayed one end of it with chalkboard paint so I could write my own message on it. I love that I can reuse this board with a new message for parties in the future. You can even use this technique with smaller pieces of wood to make personalized place settings.” [Ed: Craving the salsa in this picture? Check out the recipe—c/o La Esquina and DailyCandy—here.]


Tissue-Paper Poufs
Time: 30 minutes
“These are so simple to make, you can use them pretty much anywhere, and they instantly brighten up any party. Just accordion fold a pile of eight sheets of tissue paper and tie it at the center with some twine. You can cut the edges to give them a different shape, or leave them straight and peel back each layer until you create a pouf shape. I love hanging them above my dinner table.”


Time: 5 minutes
“I actually used a wall hanging that my dad had brought back from Panama for this project. Sometimes I’d be looking for a plate to protect my table from hot meals, and I figured this would be a great use for it since it wasn’t on the wall. I just spray-painted it to give it some color.”


“Mex-covitch” Fried Fish
Time: 15 minutes preparation, 5 minutes cooking
“Escovitch is a Jamaican style of seasoning and frying fish. I merged that technique with the flavors I tasted while in Mexico. I don’t always cook with recipes—I like to use past experience in the kitchen, time spent watching my mom, and recipes from food magazines to guide me. Helpful tool: a deep fryer!”

2 one-pound pieces of whole red snapper (scaled and prepared)
8 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 habanero peppers, thinly sliced
½ medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon butter, quartered
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lemon
1 teaspoon ground all spice
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground chili pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Black pepper and salt to taste

Mix the all spice, thyme, chili pepper, granulated sugar, black pepper, and salt to create a dry rub. Make 2­ or 3 deep slits on both sides of the snapper and evenly distribute the dry rub into the slits, over the skin, and on the inside of the fish. Push onions, peppers, and garlic into the slits. Place the slices of butter inside the fish and squeeze lemon juice over the fish. Cover the fish with foil and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour (and get working on your party decorations!). Set the deep fryer to 375 degrees. Place one fish at a time in the fryer and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Remove from the fryer and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve family-style on a platter—the fish will be super tender and can be easily picked off the bone. Serves 3-4.





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